Why France?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by silence, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. silence

    silence Active Member

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    No offense to France, but why was France included as a fourth power in post-WW2 Europe? Why not Poland? Or Norway? Or Australia?
     
  2. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Payment for services rendered in our Revolutionary war perhaps?
     
  3. pattle

    pattle Member

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    The reason you hear the most frequently is because Winston convinced Roosevelt that including France would mean that the USSR would only get a quarter of Germany rather than a third, I understand Winston used the excuse that France should be included as a fourth power because it was with Britain in 1939 when war was declared. FDR was a shrewd bloke and he liked the idea.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Poland was part of the Soviet Empire.
    Australia was part of the British Empire.
    Norway wasn't a major participant in WWII.

    Who does that leave as a major participant fighting on the Allied side but not part of Soviet or British Empire?
     
  5. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Charles de Gaulle was set up to be a "Useful Idiot" (My apologies to our French friends) in American policy. He turned out to be an "Infant terrible" in practice. Major screw-up in FDR's ideal post-war world. He caused no end of problems for American foreign policy. Why we ended up in Viet-Nam is another part of it.
     
  6. silence

    silence Active Member

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    I'd say France did about as much as Norway.
     
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  7. silence

    silence Active Member

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    Sounds reasonable; I'll buy it.
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    French pilots flew with the VVS and the RAF with distinction and it might be noted that the French resistance was a major thorn in the German's side, tying up a huge amount of manpower and resources.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #9 stona, Nov 17, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
    Oh come on !

    Every nation did what it could and I would be the last to demean Norway's gallant contribution to the allied effort but there were 1.3 million Free French men fighting the allied cause at the end of the war. They made up the fourth largest allied army fighting in Europe and were therefore, for reasons political and military, recognised as the fourth allied occupying power after the war.
    The entire population of Norway in 1940 was around 3 million.

    You may love or hate Charles de Gaulle, he was a difficult man to like, but even as an Englishman I have to respect him and what he did for France in her difficult times.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  10. pattle

    pattle Member

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    Yes I think that both Winston and Charley had the defiant attitude that was needed at the time, of course both could be irrational at times and both made mistakes. You have to remember that Churchill was never a fan of Communist Russia and was already planning against trouble with them before Germany was defeated.
     
  11. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Liechtenstein dammit!
     
  12. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, so they "gave" the Soviets the Rolls-Royce Nene.
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    You might get a few Aussies going on the technicalities of that :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #14 stona, Nov 17, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
    No they didn't. This is an often quoted myth. Rolls Royce were given permission to SELL the engines to the USSR at a time when the UK desperately needed foreign currency. It prompted questions in the House of Commons.

    From Hansard (official record of parliamentary proceedings) 22nd November 1948.

    Mr. Donner asked the Minister of Supply when the decision to sell the Rolls Royce Nene jet engine to the U.S.S.R. was taken; how many such engines have been sold to the U.S.S.R. and, separately, to Czechoslovakia or any other country under Soviet influence; at what price they were sold; and whether it is intended to make any further deliveries to these countries."

    There then followed a typically pedantic point of order. Following the speaker's ruling the following exchanges took place.

    The Minister of Supply (Mr. G. R. Strauss)
    Messrs. Rolls Royce were given permission in September, 1946, to sell 10 Nene engines to Russia and in March, 1947, to sell a further 15. None has been sold to Czechoslovakia or to any other country which could be described as under Soviet influence. No further sales are contemplated. The selling price of the engines was fixed under a commercial contract. [details of which the Minister is not obliged to reveal to parliament]

    Mr. Donner
    But does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the sale of this particular engine to Russia saved that country years of research; and how does he justify that sale?

    Mr. Strauss
    As the hon. Member is probably aware, none of these engines was on the secret list.

    Sir Waldron Smithers
    In view of the rising tide of Communism, will the right hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that no more munitions of war of any kind will be sold, but all will be kept for defence purposes? Will he give that undertaking?

    Mr. Strauss
    That is a very broad question. As I said in reply to the Question put down, no further sales of this engine are contemplated.

    Sir W. Smithers
    I asked about all munitions of war.

    Mr. Edgar Granville
    Did I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that these engines were not on the secret list at the time of the sale?

    Mr. Strauss
    Yes, Sir.

    Commander Noble asked the Minister of Supply how many British jet engines have been supplied to the U.S.S.R.; and in which years.

    Mr. G. R. Strauss
    Fifty-five jet engines were supplied to the U.S.S.R. during 1947.

    Commander Noble
    Can the Minister say, in view of his statement that no further sales are contemplated the reason for this change of policy?

    Mr. Strauss
    One of the reasons is that we have not completed our inquiries.

    Mr. Blackburn
    Will my right hon. Friend make it quite plain that, so long as the present cold war continues, we have no intention whatsoever of supplying any kind of warlike materials either to the Soviet Union or to any of her satellites?

    Mr. Speaker
    This Question asks how many engines have been supplied, not about the cold war.

    This is why open democracies keep open records. At least they can refute the BS that is spread like a liberal layer of fertiliser through sources like Wikipedia :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  15. renegate326

    renegate326 Member

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    This was probably the worst backstabbing of an ally in last century ,an ally who saved and feeded you throughout your darkest days and when it was over saved you from starvation by granting you a huge loan when no one else was available .. Helping the mortal enemy STALIN to build jet engines so that MIG-15's could attack US bombers and kill scores of Americans in Korea ! The US took revenge years later in Suez which also had an impact on France of course . Just a thought !
     
  16. renegate326

    renegate326 Member

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    Comparing France with Norway is just ridiculous ...Take a look at German losses in the battle of France ! and of course the damage inflicted on Germans by the resistance.
     
  17. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "....the worst backstabbing of an ally in last century ..."

    Really .... I didn't know that .... until you pointed it out. Until then I thought it was de Gaulle kicking the Americans and NATO out of France ... followed closely by the Soviets failure to return B-29 bombers that came down in the USSR on missions to Japan.

    And of course the Soviets didn't have any spies in Great Britain that could steal the plans for the Nene did they ....?

    I feel your pain about this betrayal, renegade326 .. :)
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Don't be ridiculous. It was a commercial deal with a nation who had been a wartime ally and had made a major contribution to an allied victory in Europe, including incidentally the liberation of France.

    Even with a year or so of hind sight it doesn't look like a very smart thing to have done as evidenced by those exchanges in parliament.

    A review of the US reaction to the British decision to sell the world's first commercial jet airliner in Eastern Europe might serve as an education. Comet didn't turn out too well in the end anyway!
    The US reaction to the world's first supersonic airliner? The US reaction to TSR2 ?

    Commercial considerations and airy fairy notions about special relationships and allies don't mix very well. That's the real world for you.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  19. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Really?

    What is your agenda here?
     
  20. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    That France is the savior of the last 200 years and he is here to prove it! The US and UK pretend to have saved modern civilization but he is here to offer proof that France is the true savior of the Anglo world.

    oh and the Spitfire was worse than the Brewster Buffalo.

    :rolleyes:
     
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